Wein und Rebsorten

wine and grape varieties

According to the AOC, ten different grape varieties may be used for the production of Armagnac. However, only four of them are in use: Ugni Blanc, Baco, Colombard and Folle Blanche.

The other six make up less than 1% of the vines: Plant de Graisse, Clairette de Gascogne, Jurançon Blanc, Meslier Saint François, Mauzac Blanc and Mauzac Rosé.

A total of 5513ha are earmarked for the cultivation of vines in the area of ​​the AOC. However, only 2238ha are currently used for Armagnac. The remaining area is used for Côtes de Gascogne wines, Floc de Gascogne (a local fortified wine) and other products. Each year, the wineries have to decide by the end of July how much of their area should be used for Armagnac next year.

On the 2238ha the grape varieties are distributed as follows:

  • Ugni Blanc: 1092ha (48.8%)
  • Baco: 626ha (27.9%)
  • Colombard: 395ha (17.6%)
  • Folle Blanche: 107ha (4.7%)
  • Others: 18ha (0.8%)

As in Cognac, Ugni Blanc has the widest distribution here. At just under 50%, the proportion is significantly smaller than in cognac, which has a dominant 98%.

In recent decades, the area actively used for Armagnac has continued to decrease: in 1995 it was 11,007ha.


Vineyards in Armagnac, unlike many of their German counterparts, are not actual mountains or steep slopes, but rather vineyards or vineyards.

The distance between two rows of vines in the "vineyard" may not exceed 3.50m and at least 2,200 vines must be planted per hectare.

The vines must be pruned at least once a year. The following two methods are allowed:

  • cordon cut
  • Guyot cut (single or double)

The wine

Immediately after the harvest, the grapes are pressed and then fermented. Only grapes that come from the same harvest may be processed together.

The finished wine is very acidic and very cloudy due to the fine yeast. Together with the low alcohol content of usually 8% to 10%, it is ideally suited for distillation. But I wouldn't necessarily recommend pure enjoyment if you're not into Center Shock chewing gum. ;)

According to AOC, the wine must have the following characteristics:

  • an acidity of no more than 14.28 milliequivalents per liter (0.70g H2SO4 per liter)
  • a maximum of 20 milligrams of sulfur dioxide (SO2) per liter (grapes, must and wine must not be sulphurised!)
  • a natural alcohol content between 7.5% and 12%. However, the wineries that we know produce a wine with up to 10% alcohol.

The permitted annual yield is 120 hectoliters of wine per hectare with an alcohol content of 10%. The quantities produced that exceed this maximum permissible annual yield must be destroyed. The quantities are usually around 100 hectoliters of wine per hectare.

The wines are distilled without coarse yeast (coarse lees), but must contain fine yeast (fine lees).

Folle Blanche



Ugni Blanc

Sources for photos and statistics: BNIA , 2021.

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